Transportation Minister playing politics with dangerous Keating exit

Several times a week I sit with Ella and Silas in my mini-van at the Keating X Road exit facing speeding oncoming traffic. The decisions made at that point in our commute are of the most important decisions I make all week.
 
It is a dangerous crossing, so when Transportation Minister Todd Stone leveraged it for the partisan advantage of his B.C. Liberals in a two-minute video (see below) of he and their candidate Stephen Roberts stumping in Saanich North & the Islands, it caught my attention.
 
The Facebook post suggested the Minister was in the riding to “listen” to voters, and  the video featured a question by Tanner Ridge resident who expressed his concern with safety at the Keating and the Pat Bay Highway.
 
Rather than address directly how the Transportation Minister can fix the dangerous situation, Minister Stone stated that the Capital Region needs a member of the legislature sitting at the government table because that is the way to get a positive response to local issues.
 
So is Minister Stone withholding the funding necessary to make the exit to the Capital Region’s most famous and important tourist attraction and the Central Saanich business park, because our MLA is not a B.C. Liberal? 
 
Instead of responding to the resident’s concerns he deferred the question to the next election. In other words, the solution to the dangerous Keating bypass is to vote Liberal next May.
 
It’s no wonder we have public cynicism towards our government. The very real issues of our communities are seen as nothing more than grist for the political mill.
 
Governing our province and decisions about funding for public safety, should not be contingent on the party of the MLA nor should residents’ concerns be political leverage that the government of the day can use to build a larger majority.
 
Twenty years ago the Keating exit was a priority. In 2010 a task force of the three municipal governments on the Saanich Peninsula and Tsawout First Nation reaffirmed it as a priority upgrade for the Pat Bay highway. Six years later it’s still a top priority.
 
We have heard little on the topic from our current MLA. He has failed to secure the infrastructure investment that we need to ensure our residents, visitors and businesses are safe.
 
Saanich North & the Islands needs a strong representative who can set aside the partisan battle that has been raging in our legislature for decades. We need a representative who rolls up their sleeves and is prepared work for the benefit of everyone in the riding, with whoever is in government.
 
Minister Stone’s pitch to Saanich North & the Islanders is precisely why we need to shake up the mix in the legislature in Victoria. The overt partisan message that we need to elect a B.C. Liberal if we want anything done is offensive. The idea that the opposition is basically hamstrung because of “politics” is equally offensive.
 
There is another way to govern our riding and our province. It takes committed MLAs who can build unifying bridges across the political divide in British Columbia and who are willing to work tirelessly solving the critical local issues.
 
If I am elected in 2017, I will be a committed, solutions focused representative, I can’t promise that in every case I will be successful, but, I can promise that in every case I won’t stop seeking solutions to our challenges.

Adam Olsen

Stellys Cross Road, Brentwood Bay, BC, V8M 1J7